Ecotourism in Egypt

Sinai beach camp

Low key Bedouin-run camp in Sinai on the Red Sea

In contrast to eco tourism in other countries in the Middle East, such as Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran, there is an extremely active Ecotourism Committee in the Egyptian Tourism Federation, which makes eco tourism in Egypt especially diverse, authentic, and unique. You can find high-end, and low end –- all satisfying experiences based on your budget. We offer some examples below.

Since 1997 Egypt’s Ecotourism Committee, which is the most active of all of the Egyptian Tourism Federation’s committees, holds over 14 meetings a year that include top environmentalists, cabinet ministers, scientists, and ecotourism professionals.

They do important work, including protecting natural areas and cracking down on illegal hunting. The Committee also produces a weekly half-hour program in cooperation with Egyptian satellite television called Misr Ard Al Jamal (Egypt the Land of Beauty) which features Egypt’s protected areas, ecotourism activities, eco-lodges, and indigenous tribes of Egypt’s three deserts.

The passage of a law in 1983 has also led to the declaration of 27 Protected Areas in Egypt that represent most of the habitats and ecosystems in Egypt. But the Committee isn’t willing to stop there – they want to increase the number of Protectorates to 40 by the year 2017.

national parks, eco reserves, Egypt

Map of National Parks, or eco reserves in Egypt

So what’s an eco-loving, sustainability-touting tourist to do in Egypt? Here are some great options:

Adrere Amellal Ecolodge

This high-end, off-grid Adrere Amellal Ecolodge in the Siwa Oasis includes 40 rooms constructed out of mud, salt, and palm leaves with traditional Siwan methods, and is located 12 miles away from Siwa, an Egyptian oasis. Today this most isolated settlement is home to a small population of Berbers and one of the world’s most interesting hotels.

There are ancient olive and palm groves nearby, and the traditional cuisine offered at the lodge is prepared with organic herbs and vegetables picked the same day. The entire lodge is telephone (hide your cell phone!) and electricity free, with candles and torches used for lighting.

Low-key sustainability comes with a hefty price-tag unfortunately, starting at about $500 USD a night for a single room. Budget-minded folks are better off heading to Sinai’s beaches of Bir Sweir or Nuweiba, to get an authentic, spiritual desert experience.

Siwa oasis

Shali Fortress, Tombs of Jabal el Mawta, the Oracle of Amun, the Temple of Um Ubeydah, Cleopatra’s water spring, Fantasy Island, Jabal Dakrour sandbaths, and Bir Wahed – a natural jacuzzi in the desert – are some nearby eco-highlights.

Al Karm Ecolodge

Al Karm Ecolodge

The Al Karm Ecolodge is a Bedouin owned and operated lodge in the St. Katherine Protectorate.

Like Adrere Amellal, it has no electricity but uses solar panels to heat water for the showers, and has sanitary compost toilets. The small hotel has only seven double rooms. We have tried to contact the lodge to see if they have recovered from Covid but we have no updates and find no dates available for rooms online. If you are an eco-tourism researcher, this paper outlines the sustainability efforts put into place while building the Al Karm Ecolodge.

Ras Muhammad National Park

Ras Muhammad

Ras Muhammad National Park: This natural protectorate in southern Sinai is protected by law and has a variety of beautiful natural features for the eco tourist’s viewing pleasure. In addition to its stunning coral reefs which attracts snorkelers and divers, the park has an eel garden and is a great spot to watch migratory birds.

Sinai Bir Sweir Beach Nuweiba/Taba

Bir Sweir is about as eco and friendly and as spiritual as you can imagine. My first trip there made me feel that I’d come to the coolest place in the Universe. There is nothing to do and nothing happens. If you like that vibe, find some of the Bedouin camps that may or may not be operating at the time of your visit. Just showing us is also okay but not recommended during the Jewish holidays when the area is flooded with Israelis.

Select camps in Nuweiba

  • Al Tarek Camp
  • Alexandria Beach
  • Aqua Sun
  • Asala Beach
  • Barracuda Camp
  • Bella Donna Camp
  • Diana Beach
  • Good Life
  • Half Moon Beach
  • Magic Land
  • Miami Beach
  • Paradise Sweir
  • Shanti Camp
  • Trankila Beach
  • White Sand CampTaba Nuweiba Beach, Bir Sweir, Sinai, Egypt
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